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The Powers of the Earth

Aristillus, Book 1
Written by: Travis J. I. Corcoran
Narrated by: Sean Runnette
Length: 19 hrs
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the 2018 Promethus Award for Best Novel  

Earth in 2064 is politically corrupt and in economic decline. The Long Depression has dragged on for 56 years, and the Bureau of Sustainable Research is hard at work making sure no new technologies disrupt the planned economy. Ten years ago, a band of malcontents, dreamers, and libertarian radicals bolted privately developed antigravity drives onto rusty seagoing cargo ships, loaded them to the gills with 20th-century tunnel-boring machines and earthmoving equipment, and set sail - for the moon.

There, they built their retreat. A lunar underground border town fit to rival Ayn Rand's "Galt's Gulch", with American capitalists, Mexican hydroponic farmers, and Vietnamese space-suit mechanics - this is the city of Aristillus.

There's a problem, though: The economic decline of Earth under a command-and-control economy is causing trouble for the political powers-that-be in Washington, DC, and elsewhere. To shore up their positions, they need to slap down the lunar expats and seize the gold they've been mining. The conflicts start small but rapidly escalate.

The Powers of the Earth includes zero-gravity gun fights in rusted oceangoing ships flying through space, containers full of bulldozers hurtling through the vacuum, nuclear explosions, armies of tele-operated combat UAVs, guerrilla fighting in urban environments, an astoundingly visual climax...and really, really big guns.

©2017 Travis J. I. Corcoran (P)2018 Podium Publishing

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A Great Series

Travis Corcoran has to be the lovechild of Robert Heinlein and Ayn Rand. The universe he builds for his books is one of a runaway bureaucracy on earth and a Galt’s Gulch hidden on the moon.

It documents the libertarianism that has made America great and warns against the misplaced trust in government to “fix” things. At the same time it celebrates freedom and ingenuity and gives hope for better outcomes by encouraging free thinking and self determination. Oh: and the best part is that it has uplifted dogs.

Unfortunately the two books (The Powers of the Earth and Causes of Separation) were not enough to satisfy my cravings for more of his excellent storytelling and I am anxiously awaiting the third and fourth instalments.

I would highly recommend this series.

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  • J. Dunlap
  • 2018-09-06

Good read

Really enjoyed this book, narrator is good story is unique and entertaining.
Hoping the second book comes to audible soon!

Can’t wait!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • 2018-11-25

Might be worth continuing

This is difficult book to review, the story is about a clash of libertarians which have colonized the moon versus the big brother government's of Earth. The MC seems to have a hate boner for any type of government which at times is interesting but at other times seems to be the only defining characteristic of the character ( I hate government's, other people should be able to read my mind, I have an uncontrollable need to control what my love interest does going against the whole libertarian thing) are the basic three thought the main character has.

The side characters (other Povs) don't seem that interesting, and only seem to exist to drive the plot forward. Let's have a perspective from these people so that we can have observers for this plot point.

Also the moon libertarians are very disorganized and supposedly kept a piece of technology out of the hands of government s for a fairly long time ... stretches believability. Besides that the tech was pretty cool, and the talking dogs was an interesting perspective as well.

So this book was difficult to get through and am not sure If I will continue the story as the main character is not very appealing to me mostly because the reasons for his main three plots arent really expounded on. For example MC hates government's great but the reason for that hate is lackluster.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Lowell D. Jacobson
  • 2018-09-06

A Kick-Ass Hard Sci-Fi Debut

Powers of the Earth is a stunning debut from new author Travis J.I. Corcoran. Originally funded through Kickstarter, this hardest of hard sci-fi essentially only asks you to posit that anti-gravity drive could exist, and then explores how those who chafe under the yoke of government would use that to exercise Exit instead of voice or loyalty. Obviously, they go to the moon. Just as obviously, the Earth doesn't really like that.

The rest flows beautifully from there in a great multi-threaded tale full of three-dimensional believable yet flawed characters... And uplifted, talking dogs.

Just as most stories about druids or rangers involve environmentalist themes, so too do moon colony stories involve libertarian ones. Here, they are well integrated into the plot, and not heavy handed superfluous spoon-feeding of the author's views to a captive audience.

By the end, you'll be freaking out that you will have to wait for the second book to see how it wraps up. It's well worth the read, and so is the sequel. But that's a separate review!

Narration here is excellent, with distinct voices for all the characters.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • John Titor
  • 2018-09-06

Exit or Bust

Bumbling bureaucrats, moon-inhabiting anarcho-capitalists, hyperintelligent talking dogs, big guns, mysterious AI.

Well, have you purchased yet? There's a war coming!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • ThrasherSOWT
  • 2018-09-06

Libertarian Fiction at it's finest!

No better contemporary example of libertarian fiction on the market today.
Great pacing, engaging and complementary story line that leads from one scene to the next with no jarring fall, easy to read or listen to.
You will not be disappointed with this book, nor any of the series!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-06-05

Just Another Story?

I mostly judge stories on how emotionally involved I get.
Does our hero blaze his way through enemies showing how easy victory is and yet if a female looks his way, blushes?
That kind of story gets a pass with a major eyeroll.
This story pulled me in because of the extreme naivete of the main character he is way too trusting of others and not nearly as pessimistic as his character is assumed to be.
Also the monologues of other protagonists seemed way too long for the story. I get it they have plans I dont need 30 min of the plan to move the story along.
Overall I liked it. I want the bad guys defeated but the good guys need a black eye first.

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  • Garry Speer
  • 2019-05-30

Gritty originality and frightening prognostication

This is absolutely one of the best stories I have ever read...and I read a LOT. Most often when a book is tagged, "for fans of such and such" it's a gross misrepresentation...but not this time. I'm a long-time Heinlein fan, and somewhat of a purist, too, and as I read this, I kept thinking "Heinlein would have loved this tale!!"
It's not a rip-off of "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress", but there are obvious similarities and many comparable elements. A rugged group of individualists flees a totalitarian system to establish an anarchistic freehold, and end up having to fight to preserve their way of life. There is love, death, battle, a sentient AI...and, oh yeah, TALKING DOGS!! What more could the avid Heinlein fan ask for?? Get it!! Read It!! you'll be glad you did.
~gws~

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  • Jason
  • 2019-04-16

Love this book!!!

This guy could be the next Heinlein. This is a multi character arc that rivals Game of Thrones or novels by Brandon Sanderson. I really love the idea of moon bases, and a voluntarism society. It funny and serious, all the elements of a great novel.

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  • T Jefferson Fair
  • 2018-10-31

A great read, in the spirit of Heinlein

Very enjoyable, with a solid framework and plenty of intelligence. Well read by Sean Runnette. Looking forward to the sequels!

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  • William
  • 2018-10-26

great but!

Great Book I imagine Heinlein would approve. However on the end of the audio book there Is a preview for book two. Book two is not out on audible. patiently waiting